Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sacrificial Giving

What does it mean to give sacrificially? Does it just mean giving more than you normally give, maybe even enough to make you and your family a little uncomfortable? Or does sacrificial giving mean that you give up something you want in order to give to someone else?

I think about this because I have the desire to give, but always (I mean ALWAYS!), I find myself, or better yet, my thoughts, wondering to the things I desire. Things for myself, my family, my house, even my friends and I convince myself that giving more than usual is sufficient. Sometimes I feel like I don't want others to know about my giving because I don't like getting attention for helping others, I'm much more of a behind the scenes kind of person. Other times I figure it's not really anyone's business and just because I might be capable of meeting someone's need entirely doesn't mean I should. After all, me giving so much might mean someone else will miss out on the opportunity to give of themselves.

Haha! How do I come up with this stuff?

God sacrificed everything He had for us. Everything. For each and every king, peasant and worker He willingly let go of everything. If we are supposed to be following Him and following in His footsteps I think it stands to reason that we are to give sacrificially by indeed, not getting something we want and give to others.

I heard a story once about about a dad who took his son to pick out the best bicycle he could imagine and when the two were driving to the store, the dad mentioned in passing that maybe they should give the bike to Timmy down the street since his parents were going through a divorce and Timmy was having a rough time. The son had no response, but continued on the outing and picked out the perfect bike. While placing the order the dad mentioned the idea again and the boy was silent. After leaving the store, on the ride home, with the perfect bike selected and ordered the boy says to his father, "you know dad, it's ok if we give the bike to Timmy."

WOW huh?!

Can we give like that? I wonder, how does one reach a point in life where they can give like that? Or maybe I should be wondering how does one reach a point in life where they no longer give like that? Is that the idea behind sacrificial giving? I would guess yes, yes it is and that once again a child has been used to show us the way. The perfect innocence of a child and the simplicity they rule their life by. Why do we adults make it SO complicated? We aren't more important because we are busy or complicated people with more stuff than everyone else. I blame puberty, but I blame puberty for lots of things=D

Matthew 19:14 says:
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

So is sacrificial giving about giving up something you want to give to others and can we give like the boy gave his bike, and like Jesus gave His everything? I think, yes! Yes we can! So let's do this! Let's simplify life, be like children, give sacrificially and the world will truly be changed, life will be renewed and people will see the Grace of God in and around them and be won to the Lord. It sounds great, except that I only really want to do it if I have a big group I'm a part of to do it together. To console me when I "fail" or encourage me when I "succeed" or just to quietly fall off the wagon together. A group of individuals just to make sure I'm not alone on this one. But that isn't the proper way to go about this. I am to follow Him, at all costs regardless.

As always, a lot easier said than done.

O, and in case you were wondering, the boy who gave his bike away before he even got it, his mom went down to the store and ordered him the exact bike he picked out the very next morning.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Current Ministry

So this missionary gig of being the church is taking some interesting turns these recent days. I'm finding myself more comfortable with the idea of just being and living and loving all that I come into contact with and allowing The Spirit to just flow through me (as much as I've figured out how to do anyways!). In doing this I've started to see connections, opportunities and miracles. Now I'm not seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead or anything, well not literally, but maybe I am figuratively.

I've found myself in conversations that I honestly would prefer to never, ever have and in them I can hear God speaking into these peoples lives. I hear them respond and I've started to notice them going out of their way to converse with me at later dates, usually referring to one specific comment that was made and how it's changing their thinking. It's actually very exciting to see people consider thoughts that, I believe with all my being, God interjected.

They may not be running out and getting baptized yet, they may not be coming to my families' church meeting, they may not even be changing their lives, but they are thinking about things Jesus said... let's just hope I can remember to stay humble through this really awesome ride and give Him the glory!

Here's to finding your groove.